Ask the GC: August 2010
August 30, 2010
<b><i>Col. Douglas Mulbury addresses some community concerns, questions raised during the live TV town hall meeting last month</i></b>
The "Ask the Garrison Commander" program is designed as a communication tool to allow Soldiers, civilians and family members to get concerns addressed and questions answered by the garrison commander. All submitted questions go directly to the garrison commander; directorates and support staff research queries and provide responses to the commander.
Due to newspaper space limitations, only a sampling of questions are printed or broadcast on TV2, a channel available on Army installations. Generally, the garrison commander answers questions of community-wide impact.
During the televised town hall meeting, July 28, several questions from our community members were addressed.
The questions spanned a broad range of topics, including landscaping contracts in Army Hawaii Family Housing areas, school zoning, over-the-counter medication at clinics and the location of the Fourth of July celebration fireworks.
There were a few questions that we were unable to address, so we are including those in this article. However, to see a complete list of all the questions and their responses, check out our Facebook page, <a href="http://www.facebook.com/usaghawaii">www.facebook.com/usaghawaii</a>, or the garrison website, <a href="http://www.garrison.hawaii.army.mil">www.garrison.hawaii.army.mil</a>.
<b>Q: We live in the Canby community and have very limited storage and no garage or even a carport. We're concerned about the damage the sun is causing to the exterior of our automobile. Are there plans to improve storage in our community'
A:</b> Army Hawaii Family Housing recognizes the challenges of limited storage in our community. Any proposed changes to historical homes or neighborhoods in AHFH inventory must be submitted and approved by Hawaii State Historical Preservation offices, or SHPO, before any action can be taken.
Given the limited space available in the historic Canby area, this situation creates an additional challenge when consideration is given to things like carports and playgrounds.
A proposal to create parking areas in the historic areas of the Canby community has been submitted to SHPO and is still under review. SHPO can disapprove the proposal, request additional information or table the proposal for further consultation. We have not received any information regarding this proposal from SHPO to date.
If the proposal is accepted, AHFH will then have to plan, budget and receive further approval from Army and ACTUS Lend Lease leadership to move forward. It could be a significant amount of time before the bidding process can even begin.
AHFH understands the desires of the residents of the Canby community and is working towards continual improvement over time. Unfortunately, we can't even attempt to provide a timeline for improvements until all approvals have been granted.
<b>Q: The Shoppette on Helemano Military Reservation opens after Soldiers are at work and closes before they get home. Is there any way to change the hours'
A:</b> Army and Air Force Exchange Services, or AFFES, strives to meet the expectations of our customers by making their shopping experience as convenient as possible. Determining the hours a store should remain open is a balance between what is most useful for our customers and what is most cost effective for the operation.
Based on customer suggestions and comments, the HMR Shoppette underwent a test period in 2009, during which the store was open from 6 a.m-11 p.m., daily. Regular operating hours before the test phase were from 9 a.m.-9 p.m., but based on the results of the test period, the store hours were changed to 7 a.m.-10 p.m.
While no current plans exist to change hours of operation for the HMR Shoppette, AAFES will continue to monitor the situation and will make adjustments, as necessary, to ensure we are capturing the hours needed for the majority of our patrons.
<b>Q: I just moved to Schofield Barracks, and my husband has recently deployed. It is not always possible for me to be home from my errands by the time my 10-year-old son arrives home from school. What is the policy regarding unattended children'
A:</b> U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii does have a Child Supervision Policy, which is <a href="http://www.garrison.hawaii.army.mil/sites/policies/policies.asp">Policy Memorandum 34</a>. This policy sets out guidelines about what is prudent and allowable with regards to the safety and well-being of our community's children.
Here are a few points:
Aca,!AcChildren less than 10 years old cannot be left unsupervised at bus stops, public facilities, residences and in vehicles or recreational areas, and they cannot walk to school alone.
Aca,!AcChildren 10 to 11 years old may be left alone up to four hours in a 24-hour period, but not overnight (1-5 a.m., daily).
Aca,!AcChildren 16 years old or older may be left alone, in self-monitored care, for up to 48 hours. Minors must have telephone access to an adult in case of emergency.
The entire policy is available on the garrison website - at the left menu, under "<a href="http://www.garrison.hawaii.army.mil/sites/policies/policies.asp">USAG-HIAca,!E+Policies</a>," and any family with children should review this important policy.
<b>Q: I have heard many rumors about when Tripler housing will be demolished. We really like our home, and I am not looking forward to moving. Is there a timeline when the homes will be demolished'
A:</b> For those living in the Tripler community, homes in that area are on schedule to be turned over to construction, Dec. 1, 2011. However, the 16 historic homes on Craig will be retained.
Residents will always be given ample notification of when a move will be necessary. Another way to keep abreast of construction schedules is to attend the community town halls that are held every quarter in both the North and South communities.
<b>Live Town Hall Response-Update</b>
What follows is an update to the initial response provided to a live TV town hall question from the July 28 broadcast.
<b>Q: I live in the Canby community on Schofield Barracks. Outside of McNair Gate, there is a sewage pipe that crosses the creek and appears to be damaged, with water openly dumping into the creek bed. Depending on the direction of the wind, the odor from this area is overwhelming and must be considered a hazard. Are you aware of this issue, and what is being done to correct this problem'
A:</b> The sewage pipe that crosses the creek is actually a treated, wastewater effluent (sewage that has been treated) force main from the Schofield Barracks Wastewater Plant. The main was checked and no damage was found.
It can appear that water is discharging from the wastewater line, because water from the Wahiawa Reservoir irrigation ditch is discharging over the wastewater pipeline into the creek below. Wastewater effluent is not discharged into the creek, but piped across the creek and discharged into the irrigation ditch for agricultural reuse.
Studies performed in the past confirm that the odor is not from the effluent from the Schofield Barracks Wastewater Plant. The odor is caused by natural gasses released in water from Wahiawa Reservoir, as it is discharged from the irrigation ditch and dropped into the creek below. The odor is not caused by wastewater effluent from Schofield Barracks Wastewater Plant, which is discharged downstream without excessive turbulence into the irrigation ditch.
The Wahiawa Reservoir and irrigation ditch are privately owned, and depending on the wind direction and the conditions of the lake, the odor will be more noticeable.
To submit an "Ask the Garrison Commander" question, send an e-mail to <a href="mailto:AskTheCommander.firstname.lastname@example.org">AskTheCommander.email@example.com</a>.
For more information, call Ophelia Isreal (808-655-9033) at Customer Management Services, or call Aiko Brum (808-656-3155) at U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public Affairs.